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Brahma Chellaney on Obama’s AfPak policy.

Brahma Chellaney writes about the strategy of the American president to counter the AfPak problem. I agree to his views and is a good read. Below are a few excerpts. The article can be found here.

Brahma Chellaney says that India is indeed ‘the sponge that protects us all’ from terrorism emanating from Pakistan. The new President’s strategy is compounding the Af-Pak problem

After all, the brunt of escalating terrorism from Pakistan will be borne by India, which already has become, in the words of ex-US official Ashley Tellis, ‘the sponge that protects us all’.

[..]

The Af-Pak problem won’t go away without a fundamental break from the American policies that helped create this terrifying muddle. The US military can never win in Afghanistan, or even secure a ticket out of that country as Obama wants, without first dismantling the Pakistani military’s sanctuaries and sustenance infrastructure for the Taleban and other state-reared terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (the group who carried out the Mumbai atrocities) and Jaish-e-Muhammad. As Bush’s national security adviser Stephen Hadley pointed out just before leaving office in January, ‘You can’t really solve Afghanistan without solving Pakistan.’

Yet to mend a broken policy on Pakistan, Obama is doing more of what helped to create the failure — dispensing rewards upfront. He has set out to make Islamabad the biggest recipient of US aid in the world without having first defined benchmarks for judging progress. It was under his predecessor, however, that Pakistan began raking in a terrorist windfall.

[..]

Continue reading

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pak militants ban political parties in Fata

Until now we had the political parties banning the militants, and it was getting boring. so now a twist in the tale, Militants are banning political parties.

ISLAMABAD: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) have now banned political parties in the Bajaur region of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Both the separatist organizations have also issued a jirga banning meeting of more than three persons at a same place. According to the Daily Times, the decision was taken after four persons were killed in a clash between the activists of these two groups. The latest ban adds to the long list of activities that the Taliban has prohibited in the region.

The outlawed outfit had also barred women from venturing out of their house alone. Sale and purchase of music cds and film videos have also been banned. Growing beard and wearing turban has been made mandatory for men in the region.

Meanwhile, Taliban militants from Pakistan’s Swat valley are refusing to leave the Buner district which they forcibly occupied and have established a big base in the town, located just 100 km from the federal capital. The continued presence of the Taliban has forced the leaders of the Awami National Party, which rules the North West Frontier Province, to leave the region and the intervention of the tribal peace jirga to make them vacate the area has failed, The News daily reported on Tuesday.

The Taliban from Swat moved into Buner about two weeks ago. They have occupied a three-storey bungalow owned by a businessman in Sultanwas village and are using it as their headquarters, the paper said.

April 22, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , , , | Leave a comment

Shariah in America as well?!?!?

Great, If anyone had a doubt about Taliban planning to impose islam over the world , please take a peek here. The taliban is right now not a threat but a reality in pakistan and India is still mum about it!!

MINGORA/LAHORE/NEW DELHI: Swat Taliban have said they are not bound to honour the peace accord between the government and cleric Sufi Muhammad, a private TV channel reported on Tuesday.

According to the channel, they said the NWFP government had signed the deal with Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi, and not with the Taliban.

Taliban sharia: Although there was no official confirmation, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan issued a direct challenge to the legitimacy of Pakistan’s government in a telephone interview with the CNN, by demanding the imposition of the Taliban’s model of sharia throughout Pakistan and beyond, “even in America”.

Disagree: He also denounced any Pakistanis who disagreed with his interpretation of Islam, calling them “non-Muslims”. He also called for the imposition of jiziya, a tax to be levied on all non-Muslims in Pakistan.

In an Associated Press interview, he said Osama Bin Laden was welcome in Swat. “Yes, we will help them and protect them.”

Muslim Khan counted the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, the Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban of Afghanistan among his allies. “If we need, we can call them and if they need, they can call us,” he said. He said his forces would go to help the Taliban in Afghanistan if the United States and NATO continue to fight there.

In an interview to a Srinagar-based newspaper, he dismissed reports the Taliban would attempt to disrupt elections in Indian-held Kashmir. daily times monitor/ap/iftikhar gilani

April 22, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“India has no plan to fight the Taliban”

Well, with our politicos busy stashing away their ill gained wealth into their secret swiss bank accounts, who has the time to fight Taliban. It also cannot be done because it will also include raids being conducted on “some people” and hell thats not permitted, after all votebank is something.

We can stay inert and wait to see the shariah enforced on hindusthan and the nonbelievers paying the jizya…. Dont worry, you dont have to wait long, you can see that happen soon enough if we dont nip the evil in its bud.

New Delhi: The Taliban are getting closer to India’s doorsteps, but India does not have a blueprint to fight it.

In an interview to Fareed Zakaria in GPS (Global Public Square), an hour-long foreign policy programme he conducts for CNN on Sundays, United States special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke spoke of the Taliban’s danger.

“You cannot deal with these people by giving away territory. They are getting closer and closer to Islamabad and Punjab,” Holbrooke told Zakaria.

Holbrooke’s assertions rang alarm bells in India, as the Taliban entering Punjab means that they are that much closer to the Indian border. Has the government given thought to the creeping Talibanization of Pakistan and the danger of these forces spilling into India? It may have given thought to the Talibanization of Pakistan, but clearly it does not have a blueprint to fight it.

New Delhi, which monitors events in Pakistan very carefully, is not surprised by the developments. “We don’t need a Richard Holbrooke to tell us this. We have been talking about this much before the Americans,” said a senior official.

“What was Lal Masjid all about?” the official said. “It was nothing but the Pakistan Taliban spreading its wings in the heart of Islamabad. The Taliban is not just creeping towards Islamabad, it is already there. The terror attacks, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto… all point to their presence,” he added.

What can India do to protect itself from a similar onslaught by the Taliban? “We are doing all it takes by crying ourselves hoarse on the danger to the international community. We are guarding our borders and our forces are sensitised to the danger,” he explained.

Indian officials may go blue in the face, asserting that the government has a well thought-out policy to protect India from the threat of Taliban forces coming nearer our border, but the simple fact is there is no policy blueprint.

The government has probably not given much thought to this. Otherwise, it will be much more involved in President Obama’s new AfPak policy. India has much to contribute as it understands Pakistan better than the Americans. But New Delhi has been shy of airing its views in public for fear of hurting US sensibilities.

“We must engage with the US. We need to be pro-active. We need to engage with Pakistan’s political leaders like Nawaz Sharif, talk to him, and ensure that he also takes a public stand against the Taliban. The situation in Pakistan is complex, with varying interest groups involved. India must not play a weak hand,” said analyst C Uday Bhaskar.

“India has to have a dynamic approach to the situation in Pakistan. The approach should not be ideological, but based on real politik,” said former diplomat KC Singh.
Like Bhaskar, Singh said that India must play a more important role in the region and ensure that the situation in Pakistan does not go out of hand because this country will suffer more than the US or Europe if the Taliban is unchecked.

India, he said, must know what it brings to the table in the AfPak policy that is taking shape. But former ambassador to Washington Naresh Chandra said, “India does not have the clout or wherewithal to influence US policy in Pakistan. Let us not fool ourselves. But we can put our own house in order, strengthen our forces to deal with the Taliban and terror attacks, minimize infiltration. Delhi can do little about developments in Pakistan.”

“Interference from India will have a violent and opposite effect,” said Chandra.

April 21, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , | Leave a comment

Women ‘terrorists’ come to the fore

And to think that they can stay under the safety of a burqa.  Also without being subjected to the usual checks men go through, it is going to be a cakewalk for them. Whatever happened to the shriah law that women have to stay in the confines of their home and not come out without being accompanied by a male relative? I guess all is fair in jihad

In the last two days, two women have been killed in encounters in the district and with the involvement of more and more women in terrorist activities coming to the fore, experts feel security forces need to come up with new strategies.

Dilshada is the second woman overground worker for militants to be killed in Doda district in the past 2 days. Dilshada was killed in an encounter in which a Hizbul militant, a jawan and a policemen were also killed. Security forces say, another militant for whom Dilshada worked, escaped.

A couple of days ago, another woman overground worker, Zahida  was killed in an encounter. She’s believed to be an accomplice of one of the two Lashkar men shot dead in the operation. More and more women aiding terrorist activity, experts say is a fresh challenge.

“We have a situation in which women are today providing peripheral support, but we must be also mentally prepared that a time might come in which some of them will actually be wielding the weapons,” said M M Khajuria, Former DGP J&K.

In the past several women have been arrested for being overground workers. In 2007, Nahida, a law student was arrested for allegedly working for the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

With two women overground workers killed in just two days in Doda, and more and more women getting involved in terrorist activities, it should clearly be a worrying trend for the security forces, more so at a time when elections are taking place.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , , | Leave a comment

“No room for democracy in Islam”:TNSM Chief

Am surprised that there is no major protests against him in Pakistan (so much for democracy), or do the people in Pakistan actually agree with what he says?

MINGORA: While addressing a large rally here on Sunday, Chief of the Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat, Maulana Sufi Mohammed said that the movement for the implementation of Sharia began in 1994.

‘The fifteen year struggle of the TNSM for the implementation of Sharia in Malakand is now bearing results,’ the Chief of the Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat said.

He said the democratic system is an un-Islamic one and the judicial system of Pakistan should be according to the Sharia.

‘Now any appeal against the Qazi courts’ decisions can be made only through the Darul Qaza,’ he added. ‘There is no room for democracy in Islam.’

In line with these statements, Sufi has demanded the abolition of all judges in Malakand, giving April 23 as a deadline for the establishment of Darul Qaza.

Sufi wants Qazis appointed in all the districts within one month and also said that the government should start giving decisions in criminal and other cases according to the Sharia.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , , | Leave a comment

Get prepared to pay jizya tax

Not its not yet happening in India, but then with the taliban at our doorsteps and “Indian taliban” being a real threat in the near future and votebank politics being the norm of the day I guess we are not very far behind. If we are not united and if we loose our democratic values for votebank politics , then beware we will have to pay jizya in our own country, just like how we payed to the mughals.

Sikhs pay Rs 2 crore as ‘tax’ to Taliban in Pak

Islamabad: Members of Pakistan’s minority Sikh community living in the restive Aurakzai tribal region have paid Rs 2 crore as ‘tax’ to the Taliban after militants forcibly occupied some of their homes and kidnapped a Sikh leader.

The Taliban had demanded Rs 5 crore as jizia, a tax levied on non-Muslims living under Islamic rule, but the militants finally settled for Rs 2 crore.

After the amount was paid on Thursday, the militants vacated the homes they had taken over and released Sikh leader Saiwang Singh, officials in the tribal region near the northwestern city of Peshawar were quoted as saying by the Daily Times newspaper.

The officials said the Taliban had announced that the Sikhs were now free to live anywhere in Aurzakzai Agency. The militants also announced they would protect the community, saying that no one would harm them after they had paid jizia.

Sikhs who had left the area would now return to their homes and resume their business, the officials said.

The militants had occupied at least 10 homes of Sikhs in Qasimkhel village on Tuesday. About 35 Sikh families have been living in Qasimkhel for many years.

The Taliban demand for jizia was resolved at a jirga or council held yesterday through the efforts of local tribal elders. The militants had said the Sikhs should pay jizia in accordance with Shariah or Islamic law.

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , | Leave a comment

“Indian Taliban” – To be released soon in cities near you.

‘There could soon be an Indian Taliban’

Ahmed Rashid, one of the world’s foremost experts on the Taliban , has predicted that with the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, there could very well be an Indian Taliban in the near future.
[……]
“Today, we have the Taliban as a role model for an entire region. We have not only the Afghan Taliban, today, we have the Pakistani Taliban, Central Asian, and very soon you may have the Indian Taliban. You may have the Taliban stretching into the Caucasus and even into the Middle East,” he told the gathering.
[……]
India would be faced with two threats in the near future. India would be “faced with an Indian Taliban. We already have Indian Islamic extremist groups working in India, and secondly, if Pakistan slides even further, India will be sharing a border with the Taliban

Coming from a well known expert on the Taliban it surely sends a shiver down the spine.  Not because Taliban will do something out of the blue, we all know that the only thing taliban knows is to kill and oppress people in the name of Islam, but that it would be home grown in India. The taliban entering from the outside can adn will be handled by our defence forces but how will we handle the home grown version.  More importantly how will you do it if we have a “minority appeasing” government in the center? what if we have a government that is ok with issuing ticket to madani and not willing to hang afzal guru.

Indian Taliban will obviously have indians in it, which means that there are people out there right now in our back yard who want to convert india into Afghanistan? Want to have a shariah based goverment? Kill all the kafirs? And India is feeeding them to grow strong and fit to fight herself? Arent there any freinds and family of these people with such kind of thinking ? If there are why dont they provide information to the police about such activities? Do they want to become another afghanistan too?

If this is the case what is wrong if some people are asking for india to be converted to a hindu country? We would rather live in a hindu india than a regressive talibanised India.

April 15, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

400 militants may cross over into India

400 militants crossing over into India…. Am wondering if the congress government is arranging a reception committee to welcome them. They would be weary and tired after all the traveling they would have done. Also they belong to a community which sadly has been converted into a “vote bank” over the last 60 odd years, and they cant afford to loose their “vote bank”. And with basic arithmetic, if 10 militants killed more than 150 in November last year ……..hmm… 400 can kill 6000… I guess i got my math right.

When will we take terrorism seriously and stop making it look like a smoke screen created by the saffron brigade.?

Srinagar: Ahead of elections, infiltration bids across the Line of Control have increased. As many as 400 militants are reportedly waiting to cross over from Pakistan and the Army has launched massive combing operations.

The Army has killed 28 militants over the past two weeks in Kupwara but it has also lost 11 men, mostly from the elite Special Forces in the jungle warfare.

With Taliban on the loose in Pakistan, security forces have intensified patrolling and reviewed security along the LoC. A greater synergy of intelligence sharing between police and army has thwarted many such incursions.

But despite the counter-infiltration measures, sources say 20-40 militants – mostly from the Lashkar-e-Toiba – may have managed to sneak in.

It’s a clear and present danger, especially with intercepts by security forces suggesting that the Taliban might give direct or indirect support to the militancy in Kashmir.

April 8, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan to impose Islamic law in SWAT

Oh yeah we are very close to having the taliban staring into our eyes, and am very sure that some politicians will have a reception committee to recieve them at the border.

The Pakistan government agreed on Monday to impose Islamic law and suspend a military offensive across the northwest Pakistan. These concessions are believed to be aimed at pacifying a spreading Taliban insurgency in the area. The announcement came after talks with local Islamists, including one closely linked to the Taliban. The move will likely concern the United States, which has warned Pakistan that such peace agreements allow Al-Qaida and Taliban militants operating near the Afghan border time to rearm and regroup. Meanwhile, in rare press conference, General Pervez Musharraf hit out at “those who said there is a tacit understanding between the Pakistan army and the Taliban”. He also said that weakening the ISI and the army will weaken the war against the Taliban. Newspapers in Pakistan have commented the move to enforce Islamic Law in the areas under Taliban influence. In an article, The News has said, “The horrendous situation in a region where people have suffered tremendous brutality, where girls have been driven out of schools and where people have been beheaded in public for defying the militants is one that no elected government can stand by and calmly endure.” The Pakistan Observer has said, “It is regrettable that some people adopted violent means for realization of the highly noble objective of enforcing Islamic justice system. Anyhow, the new arrangement can lead to durable peace in the troubled region.”

February 17, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , | Leave a comment